Solar Power System Analyses for Electric Propulsion Missions 1999-01-2449
Solar electric propulsion (SEP) mission architectures are applicable to a wide range of NASA missions including human Mars exploration and robotic exploration of the outer planets. In this paper, we discuss the conceptual design and detailed performance analysis of an SEP stage electric power system (EPS). EPS performance, mass and area predictions are compared for several PV array technologies. Based on these studies, an EPS design for a 1-MW class, Human Mars Mission SEP stage was developed with a reasonable mass, 9.4 metric tons, and feasible deployed array area, 5800 m2. An EPS was also designed for the Europa Mapper spacecraft and had a mass of 151 kg and a deployed array area of 106 m2.